Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cades Cove (last week)

So, I'm late as usual getting this post up.

[caption id="attachment_1548" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The whole awesome group before the run.[/caption]

I met the KTC group in Cades Cove last Saturday for my long run. I'm not really following training plan but am training for another half marathon. Cades Cove has 3 loop options. A 3-4 mile loop, 8 miles and 11 miles. I chose the long loop. I have a hard time going up there and just running a short loop. I'm always afraid I will miss something good, plus the long loop is where the bathroom is and know me.

I ran the first half of the loop with Brooke. We were lucky enough to have one of our friends on a bike taking pics. She snapped a few as we whizzed by!

Brooke was worried about being able to keep up with me for this run. She should not have been concerned. I'm not that fast and Saturday I would prove that. Cades Cove is never an easy run. I've not ran it since my injury so it was definitely no easier this day. I managed though. We were stopped early in the run by some deer frolicking in the woods. We attempted to pose for a picture, which cracks me up.. check out this total awesomeness.
[caption id="attachment_1549" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Can you see the deer booty!?[/caption]
~Side note- I hate this picture. I look awful in so many ways.
Moving on....

Going into mile 5 I was running with Brooke, Bernadette, and Dave. Ahead of us was our lovely friend on her bike ready for pics. I felt something hit my arm. Thinking it was a bug I went to flick it off my arm only to realize it was not a bug. A bird had done it's business and it landed on my arm. Ewwww gross!!! I had a few choice words for the bird. My sentiments were caught on camera, thankfully only in still and no voice coverage is available. I was not nice!

[caption id="attachment_1551" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Birdie poo on my arm! [/caption]

At the split off to the rest rooms Brooke went on to finish the run while I made a pit stop and took the chance to refuel a little. This part of the run is where I begin to feel how hard the Cove is. The last half to me is mostly uphill. Nothing exciting to report. I started back on my own but this half ended up being very busy. I ran along side a mom and her 7 yr old daughter on their bikes. Every hill the little girl was discouraged but there was one killer hill where the girl hopped off her bike and was crying so hard. I felt so bad for her but encouraged her and told her she was doing so great. Her mom asked me about the rest of the route and the hills. I wanted to tell her it wasn't that bad but just wasn't sure. I ran on ahead and they caught back up to me, we played leap frog a while. Came to another hill and I felt awful for the little girl. She just let out a huge sigh and at that point I said, "Want me to push your bike up this hill?" She hopped off her bike so fast! lol Bless her heart. She rocked out that ride. I was proud of her.

The last couple of miles are always tough. I was tired but really wanted to be done so I kept running at a decent pace. My goal was to stay around a 10:30 mm for the entire run. I was happy to be under that for the whole run! I ended up finishing 10.75 miles in 1:50 and change for a 10:15 overall pace, under goal is always a positive.

Bernadette and I saw this baby bear on our way to the end of the run...
[caption id="attachment_1553" align="aligncenter" width="300"] How cute!?[/caption]

After completing the run we all hung out for food and fellowship. If the run wasn't so awesome this part would be my favorite. Good running, good food, good friends and good times.
No matter how many times I run Cades Cove it is always a great experience. It will always be a favorite running route.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Backyard Olympics

I'm about a week behind getting this posted but I didn't want to miss out totally on sharing the fun with you. We were invited by some of the fabulous folks we run with to a Backyard Olympics party. We were suppose to dress as our favorite Olympians and be prepared to participate in a few fun events.

I'm not much for dressing up and didn't really have an Olympic athlete in mind that I could go as. I'm sure if I had worked a little harder I could have come up with something but I just wore my favorite Team USA tee and went as a runner. Good enough? Yes.

Here are a few of the pics from the various events...

Kara Goucher showed up and started us off. She had to chug a beer, jump rope 25 times before running through a couple of obstacles. She took it like a champ!

Olympic gymnasts know how to do it! He was on my team and totally stuck all his landings. Don't ask what I'm doing in the background. I'm pretty sure after a little indulgence of the vino and then my turn to chug I was ready to pass out. I manged to get this part of the games done though. We moved on to a little tug-o-war next.

I was really working it. We all were, can't you tell by the looks on our faces!? We took down our first competitors but when it came time to go against my husband's team it was over. We went down and I'm pretty sure he tugged all of us all on his own.

We also had to do a little bungee activity where we filled a bucket with water using a solo cup. This activity would prove to be the toughest for me. It was a hoot and I'm sorry there is no photographic evidence of how awesome I was. Ok, fine.. I fell! Going out to get the water was easy. Coming back was not, for me...especially after the few drinks I'd already had before so going back I lost my footing and the bungee kind of pulled me down hill. I did land on the bad hip but saved the water in my cup! Here's my husband making it look totally easy.

There was also a three legged race and some planking. Since I took part in the bungee activity I didn't have to take part in the three legged race for my team. Everyone did have to plank though. Last person planking won the points for their team. My longest plank to date was a solid 3 mins which I thought was pretty good. Sadly I would not be able to out plank the winner who held a plank for over 6 minutes! But here I am at least attempting to make it look effortless.

This whole night was SO much fun. My team didn't take the gold(schlager) but we did come in for the bronze (rum). Here's my whole awesome team sporting our medals.

Lots of fun was had and I was again reminded how awesome our running group is. Thanks so much to our amazing hosts for a great night!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordy Wednesday - can't stop me!

Today I had my follow up with my orthopedic dr for what will (hopefully) be the last time. I also had my last session with my physical therapist. The good news is that I don't need surgery (for now) and am to only call the orthopedic dr IF something happens or I am in pain. It's also awesome that I am running/working out pain free. I am only slightly bummed that I won't see my PT anymore. These last 12 weeks were long. I got use to those good stretching sessions real quick and am going to miss that. I've learned a LOT about my body and listening to it, watching for signs and how to take care of it so I can perform the way I want to when I run and workout. I'm not happy that I got injured but I will say that it was a good thing. It's taught me how important proper rest is for the body. I'm happy to finally be back...I'm not gonna be stopped! I'm excited to move forward with my training and can't wait to cross a few more finish lines in the fall!

Thank you all so much for your continued support and encouragement the last few months! I've had some weak moments but wouldn't have made it through them without the support of my friends, family and all those that surround me daily...that includes YOU by loyal blog readers. So, thank you!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend randoms

~ I have totally neglected my blog. Well, not totally.. I think of it often and find myself lacking good material. Wait, I can think of good material and even come up with an entire post in my head. It even sounds great. BUT the problem is this usually happens as I am trying to fall asleep at night or while I am out running and lost in thought. Neither of these times are the best for actually putting my thoughts to black and white. And you can guess what happens once my run is over or when I finally fall asleep. Need me to tell you? Yeah, you find me here randomizing a post just to keep the blog remotely alive! Eeek.

~ I am 100% pleased with my workouts last week. 5 days.. 3 times with weights in my hands, 1 spin class and 4 solid runs! The only thing I could have added was one more cross training day OR a few more workouts with my husband. We like to run together a couple times a week but since football season is upon that is happening far less. We did manage to run part of our run this weekend together.

~ Speaking of weekend running.... the weather was so so lovely here yesterday. It was cool, breezy and just so nice for running. I think runners all over East Tennessee were thrilled with the temps and lack of humidity. I know that for my husband and I the cooler temps mean it's easier to push the pace and our breathing suffers less. This probably won't last too long but it does look like we might be in for a relatively decent weather week. Here's hoping!!

~ I have a few things I need to get posted on the blog. One of those is a giveaway that's been hanging out for a while. It includes a product review!We had a fun event with our running buddies this weekend I hope to get pics of and a post written to put up. Also, I have some awesome news as far as my race schedule for the year goes. It may only be awesome to me but I am still really excited to tell you all about it. So, please stay tuned for my big news and stick around this week for a product review and give away!!

I hope you had a fun, active weekend. Here's to a healthy new week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

She rambles.

I don't know about you but I've been staying up way too late to catch all my favorite Olympic events on tv. These late nights aren't great at all. Losing sleep can make a negative impact on my weight loss efforts as well as my ability to perform my workouts at my best. I'm managing though!

Saturday I even pulled of a 10 miler (1:38:26) with a great group of ladies. My hip managed fine and I was only a bit tight later in the day. Nothing my handy foam roller couldn't help with.

I had big plans to get up Monday morning and hit the gym early BUT I sent these two precious pieces of cargo off to another school year!
[caption id="attachment_1522" align="aligncenter" width="225"] Annabelle (4th grade) and Isaiah (1st grade)[/caption]
One of these two was a bit more excited about school starting than the other. They both said their first day was awesome. We are adjusting to our new routine just fine. The only problem for Mom is the Olympics and my lack of sleep! I've said twice this week that I was going to make those early morning classes. #fail

Monday I made it to BodyPump and pulled off an easy 5k afterwards (28:35). I would prefer to do my run before a weights session but I made this work. Tuesday I hit spin class and got a nice 15 mile ride in before torturing my mid-section in 15 mins of nonstop AbsBlast class. I had PT this evening and really should have made today the day I got out of the house early to get my run on but for whatever reason they only air the events I am most interested in at 11pm! What is up with that?

Anyway, I decided to get my run in after PT. It was hot but I thought it would do me some good to run outside. I left my car parked at the PT office and decided to run my regular route for 1.5 miles before turning around and running to the school where my husband coaches football. They had a scrimmage tonight so he could just take me to my car afterwards. I had hoped for 5 miles but was just a 1/4 mile short. A great run overall considering the heat (45:02).
I wouldn't write home about it unless you'd like to talk about the fact that I needed to take a pee break and darted into the woods to do so. The coast was clear, I was basically far enough back to not be seen or so I thought. Three folks on bikes stopped dead right on the trail as I was getting ready to pop a squat in the woods. They were yelling stuff and just stopped right there. What they were yelling I couldn't tell but I watched, waiting for them to figure out my plan and move along. No such luck. After a good 3 minutes wasted I came out of the woods and contemplated screaming obscenities at them but since there was a kid (and they would've been faster than me on those bikes should they choose to chase me) I kept my mouth shut and just kept running. I've no clue if that was sweat running down my leg but I'd like to say my bladder got shy. I managed to continue my run with no further excitement.

My goal tomorrow is to make it to another BodyPump class and run some 400m repeats afterwards. And even though the Olympics went off almost an hour ago I still won't be going at the crack of dawn. Post work workouts just require a bit more energy. Thankfully rest day is coming up soon!

Have a great rest of the week y'all!
And yes, for those that have messaged me... I will post a PT update soon! :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Motivational Monday

I don't know about you but I've been trying to catch as much of the 2012 London Olympics as possible. My favorite events are (obviously) all things running. I joked about setting my alarm on Saturday morning for my long run and setting it again for Sunday morning in order to not miss the women's marathon. I'm a huge fan of Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan. If you've followed the Olympics at all this year you've probably seen this picture as many times as I have but how motivating is it!? I love it. These ladies didn't win gold or sliver or bronze but they ran and finished the Olympic Maraton... that is huge! I'm motivated, inspired and encouraged by my running buddies and cherish any chance I get to run/race with them but can you imagine something as big as the Olympics!? If you haven't watched the Olympics I encourage you to just turn them on and watch something, be motivated and inspired by some of the worlds most amazing athletes.

photo source

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hello August!?

Whoa! It's a new month again already?? I'm sure you all are as aware of this as I am but this year is flying by. My summer has come and gone. You may say it is still summer but summer for me is pretty much over when my husband and kids return to school. He went back this week and they return next week. Goodbye late nights, hello homework!?

I didn't set a single goal for July other than to make it through the month as best as I could with my injury situation. I was on vacation the first week and did enjoy myself, as I think anyone on vacation should. I was active on vacation and did my fair share of running.
I've remained active since vacation though I've failed at posting any info on my workouts here. I'm running. cross training and lifting weights at least 5 days a week. PT is still going well. I have 2 visits left this round before seeing my doctor again. I'll keep you in the loop on that.

Recap of July-
NO real weight loss.
Running - I ran 2 races but didn't PR either. I ran a downhill half marathon which made #5 in the books for me and a finish time of 2:16 putting me 6 minutes slower than a PR.If you want to read the recap you can find it here. The second race was a 10k that I had not ran before but I also did not get a distance PR for that race. You can read the recap for it here. Both races are something I am very proud of especially given my whole injury ordeal.
Gym - I'd like to say that even though I haven't been working out quite as much as I was pre-injury I do feel stronger. Maybe not as far as my body/muscles go but mentally. I've had to overcome a lot and learn new ways around dealing with the injury while still making progress in the gym. For that I am proud. I could have taken a much different road the last few months but I've pressed on and will continue to fight.

What's up for August?
I have no scheduled races but did start a training plan 2 weeks ago for a race in October (my 6th half marathon). I've been doing well enough with the training plan but making adjustments where I see fit. I'm going to keep with that for now. I've stepped it up a little with the weights and thanks to my husband that goal will be one that is easy to reach.

I think I said the last couple of months that I would absolutely love to see a dip in the number on the scale but so far that hasn't happened. I'm OK with that, really. As long as my clothes aren't tight and I don't feel like a stuffed sausage I am going to remain OK with the number on the scale. I'd love to say, "Oh I am going to lose 5 lbs this month," but I know in reality that may not happen even if I bust my tail at the gym and ban off cupcakes for life. I'll keep plugging away at that number though because I still feel like my body isn't done losing weight.

What I am telling you is that my journey isn't over and I am going to just keep taking this thing one day at a time, one meal at a time and one run/workout at a time.

Did you set goals for August? Do you have any upcoming races?